Dropping his overnight bag on the floor, Jim Carver takes a long, critical look at the room and sighs. It's okay - as motel rooms go - clean, comparatively spacious, with a t.v. and phone and well-stocked mini-bar, but like all such establishments it lacks atmosphere, some element that sets it apart from every other room in every other motel throughout the country.

"Don't stand there gawping, Jim," urges a voice from the hallway and he steps aside to allow Skase to enter. "'Ere, not bad," the DC comments, tossing his own bag on the bed, thereby establishing his own territory.

"It'll do, I suppose," Jim counters morosely.

The plan had been simple: drive up to Darlington, pick up Toddy Haynes and take him back to Sunhill. With an early start and the two of them sharing the driving they could easily do it in a long day, and both would welcome the overtime. But the 'simple' plan had gone wrong somewhere near Sheffield, when an articulated lorry had tried playing tag with a vehicle transporter - and lost. Stuck between junctions, they could only sit it out and hope that the lads from the local traffic division could get it cleared in good time. It was a hope that was never realised and they had eventually arrived in Darlington five sweltering hours behind schedule and with no hope at all of getting back to Sunhill that night. They would have to stop over in Darlington and head back in the morning.

Jim would have been content to put up at the local Section House, but Rod wanted a bar, a decent restaurant and a telly that showed soft porn pay-per-view movies, not necessarily in that order. As always, Jim's protests had been brushed aside.

"So what we doing about dinner?" he asks, stomach growling.

Busy flicking through television channels, Rod answers with a noncommittal "Hmmm?"

"Dinner, Rod? It might have escaped your memory, but all we've had since breakfast is a Mars bar and a packet of salt'n'vinegar."

"Yeah, yeah..." is the abstract response. Jim's temper, exacerbated by hunger, heat and the long delay, snaps.

"Of course, we could get room service to send a couple of plates of stewed elephant and a bowl of monkey brains... ROD WILL YOU PLEASE GET YOUR BLEEDIN' NOSE OUT OF THAT TELLY!"

It works, but then Skase has never been one to appreciate subtlety. Better to take the direct route. Come to think of it, if they'd taken the direct route, up the A1 instead of fuffing around on the motorway, they might have made it on time. But that had been Rod's decision. Nuff said.

"For crissakes, Jim, will you keep your voice down. You'll get us slung out of here before we've even had a chance to get some grub."

It's tempting; Jim can feel his fingers twitching towards Rod's throat, but he tells himself again that it isn't worth it. All he wants is a meal, a shower and a good night's kip, and if that means putting up with Skase for the night well, he'll just have to grin and bear it.

The room might not be up to much, but the food is in another category, and for once something other than blue movies and busty barmaids has snagged Rod's attention. They spin the meal out for almost two hours, during which time they manage to avoid discussion of Todd Hayes and their appalling trip north by mutual consent, and instead spend most of the time either in idle conversation or slagging off their colleagues back at the Hill, while the level on a second bottle of house red sinks slowly.

"Think I'll take a shower," Jim announces as he lets them into their room once more "unless you want to go first."

"Nah, help yourself. I fancy a bath anyway, my back's killing me. Now I remember why I hate driving long distances." Dropping his jacket over the back of a chair, Rod taps the remote and the t.v. springs to life, just as the closing credits of Deep Space Nine begin to roll. "D'you want 'Independence Day' or 'Extreme Measures'?" he asks.

Jim gives him a long suffering look. "I thought you wanted to watch the porn channel?"

"What - 'Lisa's Luscious Lesbian Romp'? What's the use in getting turned on when there's no-one to take advantage of it?"

Jim has to admit he has a point. Not that he himself has had much experience of getting turned on lately, and as for the last time he had sex, well, suffice it to say John Major had still been in Number 10. It wasn't that he'd made any grand decision to become celibate, simply that he had lacked the opportunity.

The one luxury in their impromptu refuge is the power shower over the tub. He dials it to hot and just stands there beneath the spray, letting the force of the water ease the ache in his shoulders and scour away the grime of the motorway. There is shampoo and shower gel thoughtfully provided and he makes the most of them, scrubbing at his scalp until it tingles, working the lather into every crease and joint until he feels thoroughly relaxed, his earlier anger a distant memory. Once or twice his hand strays more intimately towards his groin, but the part of his brain that has become inured to the lack of sexual activity yawns and says 'why bother'? It would be different if there was a warm, responsive body to share it with, but solitary wanking is a waste of energy.

Looping a towel around his waist, he wanders back into the bedroom, just as Will Smith comes out of the house and gets his first look at the alien ship. Rod is sitting on the bed, a pillowed propped behind him, the room in darkness but for the dancing colours from the t.v. throwing pseudo-psychedelic patterns on the wall.

"I made coffee," he announces, not moving his gaze from the screen.

"Thanks. I started the bath running. Water's pretty hot, so don't leave it too long."

"No mum." A grin, filled with mischief. "You'll be telling me to scrub behind my ears next."

"Ha ha." Switching on the bedside lamp Jim begins to rummage through his bag for clean underwear.

"Oi! You coulda warned me!" Rod snaps, sitting up and shielding his eyes from the brightness. Jim smirks.

"Oh, sorry Rod. Ah - d'you mind?" he asks sweetly, gesturing to the light.

Rod, his good mood evaporating, pushes himself to his feet and stalks towards the bathroom. "Do what you like. Oh, and if you decide to turn in before I'm out of the bath, don't forget to set a wake-up call. Sooner I get back to Sunhill the better..."

Left alone, Jim abandons his search for the boxers and sits on the edge of his bed to drink the coffee Rod has left for him. Odd that - Rod isn't in the habit of making him cups of coffee, even back in the office when he's making one for himself he'd never bother to ask if Jim wanted one.

The film spools on. Will Smith captures an alien, Jeff Goldblum is (surprise!) revealed as the only one in the whole world who can work out what the aliens are up to and Washington DC meets its end in a glory of special effects that are totally lost on the tiny fourteen inch screen. Jim shakes his head in disbelief and goes in search of his comb...

There is no response to his knock and so he quietly pushes open the bathroom door and steps inside. Rod is sprawled in the bathtub, immersed up to his tits in dense, creamy bath foam and apparently fast asleep, at least he gives no indication that he is aware of Jim's presence. Head resting against the wall, one long leg is propped up out of the water, with his foot against the tap, while the opposing arm trails over the side of the tub. His face is pink from the heat, but for once the features are soft and open, not clouded by frustration or twisted into that cynical smirk he often wears. He looks years younger and Jim thinks back to the first time the good-looking DC walked into CID, a little awkward, a little shy and so striking in appearance that every head, female and male, had turned his way.

Jim sighs as he feels the first stirrings of arousal lift his cock against the soft towel he is still wearing. Shit, this is so unfair. Of all the people he could get stuck in a hotel with, fate hands him Rod Skase. Why couldn't it be Reg Hollis lying there? That would be as effective as a cold shower in killing any hint of desire. But it isn't Reg, and Jim is getting more and more turned on just by watching Rod doing nothing. Christ, I must be in a bad way he thinks, shifting from one foot to the other in an attempt to ease the pressure around his balls.

On the other hand, Rod is asleep...

Leaning back against the vanity unit, he slides his hand inside the towel and runs his fingers lightly over his cock, which responds immediately by stiffening against the fluffy material. He catches his lower lip between his teeth, wondering if he dares go on, wanting it - needing it - but at the same time scared of what will happen if Rod wakes up at the wrong moment.

He thumbs the slit, finds it's already seeping his juices, hungry for attention after such a long abstinence. Skin slips easily over skin as he begins to pump himself in long, satisfying strokes and he feels his balls begin to tighten, drawing up against his body. <<You'll regret it>> his conscience warns, but he pushes the thought aside. Just a little bit more... It's been such a long time and it feels so fuckin' good.

"Why don't you let me do that?"

His eyes shoot open at the question and he finds himself looking straight into the wide open eyes of one very awake Rod Skase. His first reaction is panic and the expectation that Rod will at any moment launch himself out of the bath and land him one... Except Rod shows no sign that he is in any way offended by finding his colleague standing not two feet away, wanking like it was going out of fashion. Nor does he seem in the least perturbed by the fact that when Jim shoots his load he, Rod, will be right in the firing line.

"Bit late to go all shy on me, Jim," the teasing voice continues. "You could at least drop the towel... Show me what you've got."

By this time Jim's mind is shouting orders at his body to get the hell out of there - but his body has other ideas and instead he finds his hand moving to unhitch the towel and let it fall to the floor, leaving him propped against the sink with his left hand clamped in mid-jerk around his dick.

"Now that is what I call a nice handful. Almost as good as this -" Rod adds casually, nodding towards his own body and the hand that is steadily milking his own impressive erection. "So, looks like we both have the same idea. What d'you want to do about it?"

Jim has to clear his throat before he can get the words out. Rod is handing it to him on a plate, and he's having second thoughts? What the fuck is wrong with him? "Er - what d'you suggest?"

There it is, that patented Skase Smirk. "Well for a start you could come over here and let me find out if you taste as good as you look."

The thought of that hot mouth around his cock drives Jim headlong towards the edge. He is mesmerised by the voice and the eyes and the languid movement of the hand as it plays with Rod's shaft and balls, not quite getting him off - not yet - but keeping up the interest until Jim makes his decision. Well, if Jim had been unsure of it before, there is no longer any question that Rod has walked this route in the past. He is too good at what he's doing, too glib with the seduction lines, to be a novice, which means that Jim is on safe ground. If he plays his cards right he could end up getting thoroughly and most satisfyingly buggered before the night is over.

The step towards the tub is not entirely involuntary, but he's happy to go with the flow. "Think you can take it all?" he hears himself ask, and is glad of the heat to conceal his blush. He never usually talks like that. You're bringing out the worst in me, Rodney.

Rod licks his lips and grins. "Boasting, Jim?" he asks, and Jim counters "Dunno - you tell me..." as he adjusts his grip and begins to rub the tip of his cock back and forth across Rod's lips. It feels good, but it gets even better as Rod sticks out his tongue to lick away the pre-cum, like licking melted ice-cream from the side of a cone.

"Nice," he says, and before Jim can offer a protest, opens his mouth and slides it over the crown and on down, until his nose is buried in Jim's pubes. A shudder ripples through him - how could he have forgotten how good this is? All those nights with Mike, all those stolen moments on stakeout with Chris, trying to concentrate on the subject under surveillance and not the hot mouth buried in his crotch, sucking the loneliness out of him. Course, it had all had to stop when Deakin got his rank back, but for a few months... And then nothing, until now.

Feeling the familiar tingling spreading through his body, he pulls back, drawing himself almost all the way out of Rod's mouth.... and then shoving it back in again, right to the back of Rod's throat in one long thrust that nearly makes the younger man gag. There's a certain satisfaction in having the DC at his mercy, makes up for all the times he's been laughed at or put down by their snide remarks, and he captures the dark head between his hands and begins a slow, forceful assault, losing himself on the feel of the expert mouth working him. Oh yeah, Rod is an expert all right, knows exactly what buttons to push and when.

A hand works its way between his thighs, squeezing his balls in a token gesture before sliding back, trying to touch him - yeah! - there. Wanting it, remembering how it used to be, he hitches his knee onto the side of the tub to give the insistent fingers better access. As ready as he is for it, he still gasps as he feels a soapy fingertip glide towards his hole and pause there, circling gently, begging to be allowed inside. Losing all sense of reality, he spreads himself wider, leaning across the bath and Rod's body to brace his hand against the far wall. The angle tilts Rod's head back and Jim lets out a rich laugh as he drives his hips down, plunging his shaft into the open throat. The delicate skin around his anus stings as more soap is added, and a blunt-tipped finger slides in to the first joint.

That's it for Jim. The friction against the sensitive skin coalesces the fire in his belly and groin into one explosive charge and spits it down Rod's throat, pulse after hot pulse, coming... and coming... until he's empty. Rod takes it all - not that he has a choice - swallowing rapidly, the motion of his gullet sending little electric aftershocks along Jim's cock. When there's nothing left, Jim takes pity on him and eases out, running his hand through the thick dark hair in what might be considered a caress - and then again might not. No strings... At least - not yet...

Rod scoops a handful of cooling water from the bath and runs it over his face, down his body, stroking his still-hard cock. "Feel like returning the favour?" he asks, his voice too loud in the tiny room after the long silence. Jim considers the alternatives: he can leave him to do it himself, he can dispense with the problem with a quick hand job, he can suck him off - or he can make the most of the opportunity, knowing it might be a long time before he got another chance like this.

"What you got in mind?" he asks casually, leaning back against the sink.

"Depends... How far you willing to go?"

A shrug. "All the way - if you think you're up to it."

"Oh, I'm up to it Jim... Here or bed?"

"Here." Right here, right now...

Jim watches as Rod rises from the water and steps gracefully out of the bath, sitting down on the edge. Reaching around Jim, he dips into his wash bag and pulls out a pack of condoms. "Do I need one of these?" he asks, and Jim shrugs a second time.

"Dunno - do you?" he responds, and a smile twitches Rod's lips.

"That's what I hoped." He drops the pack and reaches for a tube of gel. "How about you do me and I do you?" he suggests.

The thought of getting his hands on that long, hard tool is making Jim's own cock tingle, not to mention what the image of Rod greasing him is doing. "Fine by me," he says, astonished at how calm he sounds as he takes the tube from Rod's hand and squeezes a sizeable amount into his palm. Rod jolts as the cool gel skims over his heated flesh, making Jim grin with satisfaction. The thick staff feels good in his hand and he takes his time, working the foreskin back and forth, mixing gel and pre-cum in a slick sheen over the straining crown, until Rod warns "I'll come if you keep that up." He doesn't want that. He wants to feel Rod come inside him, feel him explode, and so he changes tactic, rubbing his hands up and down the long thighs, fingertips not quite touching....

"Squat down," Rod instructs "I can't get to you..."

Jim lowers himself carefully onto Rod's legs, wriggling to spread himself as wide as he can. Rod's hands glisten as they move between them, below him, and he braces himself for what he knows is coming. The first finger catches him off-guard and he grabs at Rod's shoulders, riding a wave of sensation that's more pain than pleasure, stinging his eyes. God, has it really been that long...? But the pain eases quickly as Rod finger fucks him, the cool of the gel soothing him, and he lets go the breath he hasn't realised he is holding.

"Okay?" Rod asks, and he nods "Yeah... Feels good."

A second finger probes him, and this time he's ready for it, pushing down to meet the upward thrust, taking it all. The third finger has him bucking furiously, using Rod's shoulders to pull himself up so he can clench around the invaders. Rod nuzzles his chest, sucks a nipple into his mouth and bites it, the sharp sensation spinning out through his limbs and down into his groin.

Abruptly, the fingers leave him. He looks down into the hazy blue eyes, questioning, then all becomes clear as Rod's husky voice orders him "Turn around."

He swallows, turning, bracing his arms against the vanity unit, spreading his legs. The mirror is heated and mist free, and he watches as Rod moves in behind him, big hands framing his hips, positioning them both, sliding down to cup his arse and hold him wide as the thick cock enters him in one long... slow... assault. Breath hisses from between clenched teeth, his lips drawn back in a feral grin. It hurts - shit, does it hurt - but he drives himself back, impales himself, feeling more alive in this moment than he has done for years, every nerve, every sense seared by the intensity of his lust.

A hot, wet tongue slides across the back of his neck and he shivers as hard teeth bite down into his shoulder, like an animal securing its prey. Rod pulls back, thrusts in again, out and in, in and out, pounding him, each stroke driving deeper, grazing his prostate, sending him crazy. He picks up the rhythm, milking the hard rod inside him Rod's hard rod - yeahhhh...! humping the vanity unit. Needing more, he wraps a hand around himself and pumps like it's going out of style, back and forth, in and out, torn between the teeth at his throat and the cock splitting his arse and the slam of his throbbing flesh against the cold porcelain. The sweat is pouring off him now, intensified by the heat of the tiny bathroom. It streams down his back and sides, follows the crease of his groin and on down his thighs, mingling with Rod's, their bodies sliding together as reality fades.

"Almost there -" The tongue traces the folds of his ear, words rasp out harsh promises that echo through him Almost there... The hands grip him, pull him apart again and he flexes his knees and lays his upper body flat across the vanity, open wide, letting Rod have it all.

Rod rams into him one more time and suddenly everything stops, and he knows, and he holds his breath, waiting... waiting for -

- the first scalding rush of liquid fire erupting into him, filling him, and -

- the almost-scream of release that bounces back and forth from the tiled walls, and -

- the sudden burning in his balls, his cock, as his own fuse is lit, and he rises up and over the precipice, hangs there a moment while his heart remembers how to beat, then plunges him down, down, down. His cock jolts in his hand and he pushes himself upright, wanting to see everything, Rod's face, his own, watching as he comes, seeing his own semen spattering the basin, the vanity, the mirror. Some lands on the image of Rod's face and Jim laughs aloud, like a kid at the fairground hitting the target, and angles his spurting cock up a little, taking aim, all his inhibitions gone....

When the darkness at last recedes, he opens his eyes and looks at their reflections, focusing on two tired, ravaged, contented faces. One of them is holding the other up, but he's not sure which is which. Rod's arms are wrapped around him, banding his chest and briefly he raises his hands to cover them and hold them in place, a simple gesture of gratitude for what has passed between them.

Rod lifts his head and shakes it, opens his eyes. "You okay?" he asks and his voice is warm and sexy as hell.

"Yeah... You?"

"Oh yeah... Bloody fantastic..." He dips his head and touches his lips to Jim's shoulder, and Jim notices for the first time the trickle of blood there.

"Bleedin' vampire," he sniggers. It'll hurt tomorrow, be sore for days - all of him will be sore for days, he realises as he starts to move and feels the familiar ache in the small of his back, welcomes it like an old friend. Reaching a hand behind and between them, he squeezes the sticky softness hanging limp now between Rod's legs.

"You'll be lucky," Rod murmurs, drifting on the edges of sleep.

"'S'all right... Just checking it's still attached."

"No thanks to you. Long time since I've been in anything that tight."

"That a complaint, detective?"

"Oh, I'm not complaining, Jim." He pulls off then, and away, turning Jim towards him, hands framing the puffy-damp face. "I didn't hurt you?" he asks, suddenly looking awkward and shy. Jim shakes his head.

"Nothing I couldn't handle."

"Good." Rod leans in, touches his forehead against Jim's, dots a swift kiss on the end of his nose before releasing him. "We better - ah - clean up."

"Bath water'll be cold by now." Jim hooks out the plug and they watch in tired fascination as the water swirls and gurgles away, Jim leaning against Rod, the taller man's arm draped around his shoulders.

"Share a shower?" Rod asks, a hopeful note in his voice. "I promise I'll keep my hands to myself."

Jim slants a look up at him and shakes his head, smiling. "Don't make promises we can't keep," he cautions.

The water is refreshingly hot and they share the spray, scrubbing each other clean, the post-coital lethargy making anything more than gentle caresses redundant. Clean and dry, they turn their backs on the debris of the bathroom. The television is still switched on, Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum returning in triumph, the aliens destroyed. Jim picks up the remote and kills the picture, turns around to find Rod staring forlornly at the twinned beds.

Jim dares to let his imagination roam and the image that forms in his mind sends little ripples of anticipation down his spine. If there was even the remotest chance that something more might come out of this night, then he owes it to them both to take it - doesn't he?

"C'mon" he says, moving round to the far side of his divan.

"What're you doing?"

"Pushing the beds together." He looks up through tired eyes and catches the look of relief that Rod is trying in vain to hide. "Or would you rather sleep alone?" he asks, teasing light. Rod grins.

Minutes later, the room in darkness, Jim spoons against the long back, his astonishingly resilient flesh nudging a promise against Rod's backside. Another time, another place, maybe....

"Jim?" The voice is thick with sleep.



"My pleasure," he grins.

Silence. Then "Jim - "



He sighs. "Go to sleep, Rodney."